Confidence boost

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

Wearing a letter doesn't always mean addressing the media pack or tearing a strip off the dressing room wall.

Ales Hemsky, for instance, is a man of few words who prefers to do his talking on the scoreboard.

That's plenty good enough for Oilers coach Craig MacTavish, who named Hemsky one of his four alternate captains yesterday.

Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff will wear 'A's for Oilers home games and Steve Staios and Jarret Stoll will be alternate captains on the road.

"We would have been remiss not to recognize the immediate and future impact of our young players," said MacTavish. "With Stollie and Hemmer it's time to get them involved and recognize them as leaders so they can start to develop as leaders.

"I really believe that those two players have the ability to be future captains and it's time to recognize that. I think it's important to put some of that leadership responsibility on their shoulders."

Hemsky says he'll wear it proudly.

"If you get an A on your jersey it means a lot," he said.

"They're giving me a chance to be a leader. I want to help them win games. I'm not a guy who will talk too much in the room, but I want to be a leader on the ice."

ROY ON MEND

Defenceman Mathieu Roy is up and around and feeling much better after being wheeled off the ice on a stretcher in Edmonton's final pre-season game.

"I'm feeling really good," said Roy, who got crushed behind Edmonton's net by Vancouver's Rick Rypien. "I was supposed to start riding the bike, but they want me to do an MRI first and we'll see what the results are. My neck is really stiff, that's why they want to do an MRI as a precaution and make sure everything is fine before I start to do anything."

Roy was carrying the puck, moving at top speed with Rypien in pursuit when he tried to stop and reverse his field, turning his face to the boards in the process. Big mistake. Rypien, still moving at full speed, changed direction with him and lowered the boom.

"Unfortunately it was a bad read," said Roy. "He caught me as soon as I starting turning. He maybe should have laid off a bit, but it's me, too.

"We're both guilty."


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